Marithe Francois Girbaud was good to me for many years, too many if you ask my wife about it. The size of my thighs started to present me challenges in early high school. While all the cool kids were wearing Levis 501 button flys, I was forced to wear whatever manufacturer made 'carpenter' pants. Then one day along came Girbaud, not only were they cool...but they had 'Brand X'. I loved Brand X, with the straight cut front pockets, big roomy thigh area, and of course the signature rectangle tag across the fly. Problem was..cool equals expensive. Expensive was not a word that described the majority of my wardrobe at the time. Good thing Dad had me detailing cars by then, there were not many other options, my extra cash pitched in for jeans...I had just about every color they made. I even had the jean jacket...with the corduroy collar. My addiction with these jeans lead to me packing several pairs when I relocated to FL and keeping them through aprox 2004. It was about then I was dating my wife when she came over one day and found I had nailed a pair that use to fit me to my bedroom wall as some sort of source of motivation. She was pretty cool about it at the time, today she will tell you in detail how horrified she was at the thought of me wanting to wear them again one day. I really did..I mean want to wear them again. She kindly let me know they were no longer cool and should I get back to that size there are probably other options that would be fun to shop for. That concept became foreign to me, fun to shop for jeans. It became loathsome to even think about it. No 5'11" guy (that isn't a professional body builder) is suppose to have 30" thighs! Thanks to the past 5-6 weeks, I don't have thighs that big anymore. Finally yesterday my wife must have had enough of me still wearing the jeans that fit those thighs. She suggested we go shopping. I agreed but with reservation, even having lost weight I figured I'd proportionally still have the same issue. We hit the store and I gravitate straight to the 'relaxed/comfort' fit section. Next...the dreaded dressing room. To my surprise the relaxed were too relaxed, I..me, fit better in the straight leg. That's something that hasn't happened in MANY years. We grabbed a couple pair and were on our way. As pleasurable as the experience was I'm still pretty scarred from years of frustration, so it may take a few trips over the course of a few months for me to accept that jean shopping no longer needs to be a cause of nightmares. I don't expect to be in the 'skinny jeans' section, ever, but that's for several reasons. I do still need to find a few more pairs, I've heard that used jeans have quite the market these days...ebay, search words 'girbaud brand x'. I'll have Meg take pics!
Ode to Girbaud.
Houston, we have a problem.
The problem, was me. I was fortunate enough to do an internship at NASA in Houston. Call it luck, right place right time, all those things! I was a pretty good student, in the classes I liked (see blog post 'Do Whatcha Like'), but NO I am not a rocket scientist. I was intimidated for sure, sitting next to kids from MIT, Georgia Tech, Penn State..."Where do you go to school?", ahhh...Bemidji State University, you haven't heard of it? "Where's that?"...take the Mississippi River North all the way to where it starts, when you see the big 'Paul and Babe' statue, you're in Bemidji, MN. I was a fish out of water, I didn't know what 'neutral buoyancy' meant (my major project), and when given my first tasks...I screwed them up. So bad that they kept one of them and made me a going away trophy with it. After a few weeks and ruining the days of quite a few NASA engineers, I started to get the hang of things. By the end of the three months, they offered me a job. Had they not been patient, there would not have been a job offer. I didn't take the job, turns out I had a problem with Houston. Get off a plane in August there sometime, you'll know what I'm talking about. I did leave there with the going away 'trophy' they made for me, they custom etched it "Brain Fart Award". I looked at it today and thought about all the things I did to deserve it. It made me want to clear the air a little bit.
My last post was an emotionally charged rant that I think was a bit unfair to OTF. Admitting that I was unhealthy, overweight, and unmotivated was hard, and once I decided to do something about it, I was in 110% making it my main focus (and obviously assumed it was everyone elses). OTF does have a focus, 'provide the best 1 hour workout in the country' (thanks Doug, I stole that from you). They deliver. I drove by the studio one day and thought they would never open on time, a couple days later...bam..open, staff, trainers, equipment and an awesome workout from day 1. If they took as long as I did to figure things out, classes would not be so full. They got it right, quickly. So right that I have lost 41 lbs in 5 weeks with them! That's where my focus should be. Thank you staff, thank you trainers, you've changed my life. Looking forward to many more months and years of being in the 'orange zone'.
For the kids reading this (of which there are none I'm pretty sure)...I apologize for the title and the potential language used in this post. I thought about 'Sunshine and Rain' (I all ready used a 90's rap reference) or 'Rant and Rave'...but I'm not feeling particularly positive about OTF at the moment. I will take a few sentences to highlight the positive, you're always supposed to compliment before criticize. The trainers and workouts have been awesome. Particularly Patti, she actually seems to know there is a weight loss competition going on and has provided direction, inquired about how i'm feeling, and given guidance on my diet. I'm a firm believer that interval training works and OTF has established an excellent method to deliver results to people of all fitness levels. There simply is more to it than that.
Before I go too far I'll recap my experiences outside of the workout studio. It started on day 1..weigh in, if you've read my weekly breakdowns you know the issues there. The scale was 'off' but only for me, so I was asked to adjust my weight down, or cancel the competition. Week 1 comes and goes, week 2, week 3, week 4...and not one mention via email or even their Facebook page that there is a weight loss competition going on. No words of wisdom, motivation, or support in any manor. As I mentioned before ONE trainer spent time with me on the topic. I've also entered the national challenge. I figured there would be some corporate communication about it, it is the first time they have ever done a nationwide challenge. Nothing...ZERO..I'm not sure that if I didn't know the key dates around the national challenge that I would probably never get asked or they even remember I needed to do a final weigh in. It comes to week 4 weigh in and since we hadn't heard anything about the competition Meg and I asked about it. OTF response; "Didn't someone call you?" and "Oh...the names are suppose to up on the board." Miraculously that after noon 'the board' appeared on their Facebook page. I took a good look at photo and the board, turns out they have the wrong percentage up for me. I've lost more weight than OTF has on record. How can this happen? Damn good question, so I called to discuss and after a few days I got the numbers that they recorded. It turns out I have different numbers down than OTF does. Week 3 and 4 are the largest differences. Not sure how this happened, I was standing on the scale while the numbers were written down. My numbers are slightly lower than what they have, and week 4 they only have me loosing .4 lbs. This is where I find myself scratching my head and saying WTF?
In one way, all these weekly numbers don't mean anything, the final weight loss number is the only one that is important in regards to winning. Winning however is not the only reason people join a weight loss competition. The competition serves as the vehicle for motivation. I'm afraid OTF doesn't get it, of all people to not get it! Ask yourself what type of client is attracted to a weight loss competition? These are going to be people that most likely need to lose a large amount of weight and are ready to make a life change. OTF...you are in the business of changing peoples lives, not just providing a place to get a workout. Understand that the distractions you create by your lack of attention to detail are serious and can have significant effect on a persons motivation. I went into this very seriously, I could have picked 'CrossFit' as my vehicle for fitness...I didn't, I chose to utilize you, pay you, and in turn would appreciate some level of communication, awareness, guidance, any form of involvement that shows you too are serious and concerned about your clients. If I was not very committed to my personal change week 1's fiasco could have completely shut down my motivation. The recording of my data is important to me, and I want to feel like it's important to you.
I've went on at length...I've gotten my 'rant' down and out. WoooSAAAAH! I'm still very motivated to continue with the challenge and see through the changes I want to make for myself. I'll use the phrase my Mom used, (and many others for that matter) "I'm not mad, just disappointed." Since it's taken me 10+ years to get myself this motivated and make so many major changes, my emotions are high, I'm so vested in this I feel like everyone else should be too. I'm sure I have a bit of tunnel vision right now, Meg can attest to that. All I talk about is food value, working out, diet strategy. Writing it all out is my 'therapy' I guess, and maybe my perspective on this will help in some small way. See you at 5:30 a.m. OTF.
Do whatcha like.
"Hey, Noordmans! Pick it up! Looks like your pull'n a plow out there!" There's so much to love about Fall in Minnesota, the constant badgering of your high school football coach is not one of them. I guess if what he was saying wasn't true I'd have even more reason to gripe. I've never been the fleetest of foot, I've always blamed that on big bones, or big thighs, or my flat feet. It was because of those big bones and big thighs that I played football in the first place, but it never really was my thing. On top of that, I'd say I was a 'B' level football player, on top of that...Fall was hunting season. All that adds up to me not playing football my senior year because I liked hunting better. There's plenty of stories of my buddy Tim and I's hunting trips that would also prove hunting wasn't something I excelled at but hey, at least I liked it! I liked hockey, so I played religiously since I was 4 years old. I like cars, could talk for hours with just about anybody, and watch those auctions on TV for hours. I've kind of used 'Do whatcha like' as a mantra for success. It took me a while to figure out in college what I liked, but I found it, I pursued it...and it lead me to amazing opportunities. Since those high school days I sporatically worked out. Again, it wasn't something I enjoyed doing. Slowly over the last 10 years it became almost non-existant. Meg and I were spinning for a while, and while it provided results, I didn't really care for it. We were also doing some yoga at the time, her more than myself but I did like it so I think it will work its way back into our schedules. I remember when Meg sent me the link to OTF. I read about it and said, hmmm I might like that better than just 'going to the gym'. That's an understatement at this point. How they took a handfull of things 'I don't like' and turned it into something I love doing, I'll never know. I'm sure glad they did, it has been key to my success so far. For anybody who might need to find an avenue to being healthier...'Do whatcha like', it's working for me.
P.S. I stole 'Do whatcha like' from a 90's rap band, extra points if you can tell me which one.
Sore muscles, lose pants, reading nutritional content labels...not drinking beer! Who am I and where the heck are those little red shoes? At least the Tin Man had grease zerks in his joints. My knee and ankle could sure handle a couple of those right now. Week three hasn't been completely foreign, I spent a little more time with my old friend 'sofa'. The old rusty frame has needed some maintenance. I think all that sweat is seizing up the mechanisms, or maybe it's the last 10 years of neglect. Naaaa...I know, beer is like my body's synthetic and I'm a few quarts low. I'm realizing that I might need a shade more down time than I anticipated. With the loss of weight and the repetitive intensity of the OTF workouts it seems my heart and lungs are much stronger and I recover from high heart rates faster. So glad my heart and lungs are on the fast track, pretty sure my muscles and joints are still back in Kansas. The faster recovery means working harder to reach and remain in those magical zones, requiring even more out of the muscles and joints. Hopefully they get together at some point but I'm afraid it could be a little while. I am definitely in unfamiliar territory but I like it here. Hopefully there are no flying monkeys.
Mark Noordmans - Husband, son, son-in-law, brother, uncle, nepheiw, and father..to a pretty cool Boxer named Tyson. **And as of Aug. 15th, 2013..an amazing little man named Blake!